My name is Haidy Hassan and I am a student at pharos university in Alexandria (PUA) department of computer engineering. I applied for an exchange program abroad, passed the interviews, then woke up to find myself in a whole new country.
To begin with, the process of selection was not easy, but it was definitely worth it. I tried to do my best and gave my all throughout the application and interviews, then I was successfully selected to study at The Royal Institute Of Technology (KTH) for a semester from September 2022 to January 2023. It was a new experience with new lessons. For example, the way students at KTH receive their education is different from how we PUA students receive it. At KTH, they focus more on the practical side as well as self-studies. I needed to search for much information by myself and teach myself how to implement this knowledge in a practical way. This method of learning taught me how to properly search for what I need and gave me skills of problem solving. I also got to work with other students from Canada, The Netherlands, China and India on school projects, which helped me know how people from diverse educational backgrounds think and solve problems; it was extremely beneficial.
Regarding the accommodation, I stayed at a school dorm sharing a flat with five other girls from Australia, America, Brazil, Singapore and Egypt. We used to have dinner together at least once a week chatting about how our week was and planning activities to do together. There were also parties held each weekend where everyone got the chance to know each other more and build friendships for life. Thanks to these interactions, my English improved a lot. Moreover, I experienced snow for the first time ever in my life; I even remember the date 22th November. It was magical and fun to enjoy the snow and build my first ever snowman with my friends from Finland, Japan and Spain.
As a hijabi, I had fears of racism, but these fears all faded away day after day. Halal food being available at almost every supermarket, Arab markets, Arab restaurants, Arab shops owners, and even hearing Arabic everywhere in the streets were all factors that made me feel like I am almost home.
To sum up, this experience helped me build up my personality to be a more confident, social, open-minded and independent version of myself. Also, I made friends from almost everywhere in the world 😊. I am more than thankful for this opportunity and I hope many students apply for it to discover different aspects of themselves.
KTH Royal Institute of Technology is one of the most prestigious technical universities in Europe, renowned for its world-class research and innovation. The university is located in Stockholm, which is known for its beautiful architecture, rich cultural heritage, and high standard of living. The city is also home to numerous tech startups and established companies, and it is a place I called home for a few months during my exchange period.
My semester at the KTH was an incredible experience that enriched my academic and personal life. The university’s academic curriculum was challenging, and I was able to learn from some of the best professors in the world. The courses were interesting, and the professors were knowledgeable, supportive, and always willing to assist us whenever we had questions or needed help. Beside the academic curriculum, the university also offered various activities, including sports, clubs, and events for exchange students. These activities allowed me to meet new people from diverse backgrounds and cultures that I could have never experienced if it wasn’t for this program. It truly enhanced my social and intercultural skills.
The student life in Stockholm is unique, and there was never a dull moment. From exploring the picturesque city to visiting museums, art galleries, and cultural events, there was always something to do! I also got to live with other students from all over the world. Everyday was a new experience, one day it’s an international dinner party with foods from all over the world, and other days it would be a party. My experience expanded to outside of Sweden aswell. I was lucky enough to travel to other countries with some of the friends I met during my time in KTH accommodation. I made a lot of memories and lifelong friends.
In conclusion, my exchange semester at KTH Royal Institute of Technology was an enriching and memorable experience that broadened my horizons and allowed me to develop new skills and perspectives. I would highly recommend this exchange program to anyone interested in pursuing a career in the tech industry or looking for a unique academic and personal experience.